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John Thiel
April 21st, 2005, 08:01 PM
I'm working on a story about a figurative realm which is projected into space by people in group spirits. It is high-sf, with extra-sensory abilities in full use.
The realm is formed in space by arguing things that cannot be argued in the real world. No one lives in it; instead, people project effigies of themselves into the projected "material" enviornment. I mentioned it to an editor of one of the Big Three sf magazines, and he said it wouldn't be useful, adding, "It doesn't have any characters in it!" Well, that leaves plenty of room for character development. The idea isn't all that original--Abbott's FLATLAND is a story preceding it--but it does have some speculations I would like to put across. Maybe somebody here would have some ideas about how the story could be made more what an editor would want to purchase.

Expendable
April 21st, 2005, 08:29 PM
Let me see if I got this straight -

Your psychics have found a "shared dream realm" where they can construct fanciful realms and can interact with each other using mentally projected avatars? Is that right?

Now how does this dream realm relate to the mundane realm? What do you see happening in here that might affect or interfere with ours?

Expendable
April 21st, 2005, 08:32 PM
Could someone with a wild latent talent be connecting while they're in their dream state? Stalking the others?

John Thiel
April 21st, 2005, 08:51 PM
The way I've been doing it, the imaginary or semi-created space-realm is an extrapolation of what's going on in ours. It arises from telepathic disputes. So its only influence on the real world is similar to the one a forum or a public debate would have. Your idea of a malevolent stalker, though, would indeed contribute action to the piece. Still not a complete original, though--a lot of novels of the computer-realm genre have them, including SNOW CRASH and William Gibson's novels. But it could be a component of the story.

You see what my idea is well enough; thanks for the reaction.

Expendable
April 21st, 2005, 08:51 PM
A realm of dreams. This is where we go when we sleep, where our dreams come from. It's why we can be with loved ones and friends in our dreams. But some of the dreamers can direct their dreams and shape the dreams of others - your ESPers.

But someone is using that realm for their own advantage, not concern with who they might harm or affect - how's that?

John Thiel
April 21st, 2005, 08:54 PM
Well, some people might become, like, "Masters of Sleep."

Expendable
April 21st, 2005, 09:10 PM
The way I've been doing it, the imaginary or semi-created space-realm is an extrapolation of what's going on in ours. It arises from telepathic disputes. So its only influence on the real world is similar to the one a forum or a public debate would have. Your idea of a malevolent stalker, though, would indeed contribute action to the piece. Still not a complete original, though--a lot of novels of the computer-realm genre have them, including SNOW CRASH and William Gibson's novels. But it could be a component of the story.

You see what my idea is well enough; thanks for the reaction.

Telepathic disputes creating some sort of forum accessible only by those who have telepathic abilities to 'read' it.

It could be an advantage for some, if they have foreknowledge of an opponent's position by being able to 'read' that mental forum. As long as nobody else knows they can do it.

John Thiel
April 22nd, 2005, 09:49 AM
Good idea. I've been concentrating on the way this world might look, and elementary interactions within it. The world has visible scenery, action scenarios, and imitations of actual matter placed by people who claim they could create actual matter if they were going to do so. But their "matter" doesn't look all that actual, although it is solid to the spirit touch. At any rate, there's plenty of opportunity for an approaching spirit to reconnoitre it, so that could be added to the plot.

KatG
April 22nd, 2005, 09:56 AM
Well that could be a source of conflict too, if others who do not have telepathic abilities know about it. If you have a group of people who have telepathic abilities, first because of their advantages, they have the opportunity to wield a fair amount of power and possibly accumulate a good deal of wealth in the general culture/political climate. But they would also be considered strange and dangerous by those without such powers, plus there would probably be some telepaths opposing other telepaths. There might be laws prosecuting or restricting telepaths.

If it's known that the telepaths are able to access and build an alternate reality as a platform for disputes and policy discussion, then there would probably be a lot of political machinations going on. There might be public outrage by some factions. If the telepaths hid this ability, then there is the difficulty in continuing to keep it hidden from non-telepaths, given that some telepaths are undoubtedly going to confide the secret or even defect and sell the information to some agency or government.

You could, on the other hand, have the telepaths long established in the society and the forum publically known and institutionalized for telepaths, sort of like a special set of courts, which sounds sort of like what you are talking about. What you chose as a plot wil undoubtedly effect how you set up the social setting and the nature of the dispute realm. So what aspects of the idea most appeal to you? What part of it do you want to explore?

John Thiel
April 22nd, 2005, 07:50 PM
If there were such a conflict, it would have to take place on Earth as a backup from the existence of the space realm, since the non-telepathic are not able to access the realm. However, an exception is the spirits of those who have died, who are kind of automatically telepathic. I thought of having a raid from ghosts in this thought-realm, but I'm still just juggling possibilities around.

I see you're connected with Emerald City, Kat. Is that the magazine? Are you on the staff of it?